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Iron by Elizabeth Acevedo

And although I am a poet, I am not the bullet;

I will not heat-search the soft points.

 

I am not the coroner who will graze her hand

over naked knees. Who will swish her fingers

 

in the mouth. Who will flip the body over, her eye a hook

fishing for government-issued lead.

 

I am not the sidewalk, which is unsurprised

as another cheek scrapes harsh against it.

 

             Although I too enjoy soft palms on me;

enjoy when he rests on my body with a hard breath;

                                                                                 I have clasped

this man inside me and released him again and again,

listening to him die thousands of little deaths.

 

What is a good metaphor for a woman who loves in a time like this?

 

I am no scalpel or high thread count sheet. Not a gavel, or hand-painted teacup.

I am neither           nor romanced by the streetlamp nor candlelight;

my hands are not an iron, but look, they’re hot, look

how I place them           in love           on his skin

and am still able to unwrinkle his spine.